The Journey Ahead

Values of an Independent Education: Successful Transitions - Part 1

Our values require that we go beyond the classroom, that we work with each child, and each family to ensure that every student makes a successful transition through each phase of their education.

You know these transitions are tough on you.

  • Sending your baby off for the first day of preschool.
  • Handing your kindergartener off to their teacher on their first day.
  • Watching your child go from one classroom and one teacher to a world of multiple teachers, lockers, room changes and new, significant responsibilities.
  • Setting them off on the right foot as they begin high school.

But it is important not to lose sight of how these transitions impact your children. While there is a lot of excitement about reaching each new milestone, what you might not see is the underlying anxiety and fear that your child is also experiencing.

Helping your child prepare for each transition will go a surprisingly long way in easing your distress, and replacing your child’s worries with a sense of safety and a feeling of anticipation.

Every Stage of Your Child’s Education

From Pre-K to the last day of highschool, there’s no time that your child doesn’t need you to be involved in their education. The way you are involved just changes. In this two-part series, we’re going to take a look at ways that you can help your children make successful transitions from:

  • Pre-K to kindergarten.
  • Kindergarten to middle school.
  • Middle school to high school.


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Successful Transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten

If your child isn’t physically moving to a new school during this transition, it can be easy to assume that it will be an easy change. They’ll be going to a place they are familiar with, seeing people they know and maintaining a similar morning routine prior to school. But there’s more to the transition than you might think.

At Mizzentop Day School you’ll have an opportunity to meet with your child’s new teachers, ask questions and get advice about making the transition. That’s not always the case however. Here are some things to think about as your child takes this first important step toward maturity and independence.

Talk With Your Child

The takeaway here is that you need to talk with your child, not to them. Ask them what they think kindergarten will be like, ask open-ended questions that will encourage them to share with you. Then you can clarify any misconceptions they have and put any fears at ease. It is amazing what goes through a child’s mind sometimes. We forget what it was like. And, if they are afraid of making the move to kindergarten, the chances are as good that they are afraid of something that only exists in their heads, as they are that the worries are about something realistic like making friends or what they’ll eat for lunch.

Talk With Your Teachers

If you are making the transition at Mizzentop, you’re in luck. You’ll have an opportunity to coordinate with your child’s old teacher and their new teacher. They’ll have a very good understanding of your child’s strengths and areas that you might be able to help them with at home, to make sure they are prepared for a successful transition. Some children need help with fine motor skills, others may need to brush up on emotional or social skills, and some children might need to learn a bit more impulse control. Our teachers can help you to help your child.

In our next post, we’ll talk about making the transitions to middle school and high school.

If your child isn’t already a student here at Mizzentop, give us a call to learn more about how our values-based, independent education helps our students make these transitions successfully. And, if you are looking for an independent day school for your child, let’s schedule a time for you to stop by, meet the staff and have a tour. We look forward to meeting you.


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